Columnist shares thoughts on the Arlington Gateway project

By Katherine Dominek, ’19

A new chapter could begin in UA and it’s a tall tale, 11 stories to be exact. No. This isn’t some inversely constructed book, it’s a “luxury” apartment complex with office and retail space.

Approved 5-1 by City Council, members’ eyes flashed green as dollar signs obscured their vision. The Arlington Gateway will provide over a million dollars in annual income tax, but will the cost be greater for UA residents?

The building will be constructed on the corner of North Star Road and W. Lane Avenue on the lot that currently holds a Half Price Books and Pizza Hut. Convenience-wise, there may be an increase in traffic at this intersection—a traffic study must be completed before construction—but the location will also lose nostalgia generated by the bookstore and pizza chain.

A classic red roof. Grease smears on booth seats. Clatter of pans from the kitchen. A floral-printed restroom. Laughter from a table seating four. This fast-food establishment will be missed.

Half Price Books, a destination for rainy day stays and haver of all good books (and music), has been one of my favorite stops in UA.

Walking through the door, my mind floods with memories: clearance Halloween decorations (turned bedroom décor) bought off the counter display, CDs from an obscure band I got way too into freshman year and a walk through the aisles with a friend in search of romance novels and true crime mysteries.

I will greatly miss the staff who always had insight and opinions about the book you were purchasing for English.

Arlington Gateway. This piece of work, an honest “masterpiece,” will be a high rise amongst fields of corn. A sore thumb literally overshadowing the work of green thumbs. I imagine developers looking through the maize viewing a green light far out within the Columbus skyline. They grasp for rich bachelors and wealthy divorcées.

This development furthers the systemic gentrification of the UA community. Rather than build for luxury, why not build for the average family? I guess it makes sense according to business logic, but what about overall community standards and goals?

Cutting out sectors of the population will not promote a diverse future demographic, as current accessibility is minimal. UA has evolved to cater to family life with parks, recreational activities and a striving school system. Most growing families don’t have the pocketbook for this proposed price tag.

But, maybe I’m just the Wicked Witch of the East because these apartments have me pressed.